How does a small business owner connect with his or her target market and do it in a way that is professional, affordable and shows a return on marketing investment?
It’s not that complicated but many marketers make it more complicated than it has to be by throwing mud up on the wall and seeing what sticks. Or they use old tactics that just aren’t very effective in this day of mass media where people are being bombarded with all kinds of messages and information. So you really need to know who your target market is and do your best to not throw mud up on the wall.
For one particular venture I tested and researched all kinds of advertising and social channels, but good ole’ networking still produced the best and fastest results.
Why you say? Well for one thing it put me in front of people who had immediate needs for what I offered and secondly it allowed me to outreach into their sphere of influence while having an advocate to back me up.
Now I’m not saying that networking is the end all to business development but it could have a major impact on your business if developed properly in an organized fashion.
Maybe you’re like so many small business owners and professionals who just don’t have a handle on driving new business on a consistent basis. They are handing out flyers at the local fair, sending postcards to purchased lists, buying pay-per-click ads on the search engines, utilizing social media channels and still buying yellow pages.
The results vary and can be really sketchy, especially if you don’t test.
So I suggest you ask yourself the question – Which channels work best for you? Which channels have you tested and seen results? Maybe you know and maybe you don’t?
What I’m saying is this – what are the best, most cost effective ways to attract your target audience and keep their attention?
During my years at the Tiny Store, both on and off the web, we tested many different forms of advertising and marketing (channels).
Here’s a short list (pre Internet days of 1995):
Direct Mail –( RSVP Postcard deck, Internal List, Valpak), Radio, Road signs, Yellow Pages, Magazine Advertorials, Newspaper, Home Shows, Tradeshows, Chamber of Commerce, Parades, Welcome Wagon
As you can see, up until 1995 and the year we jumped on the World Wide Web, we utilized the all kinds of offline media.
Yep, we threw a lot of buckaroonies into the old yellow books and even a black book. And no, it’s not what you’re thinking. This company published a black book instead of a yellow book.
Some things worked better than others but one thing is for certain…
One of best offline marketing methods was the regional home and remodeling shows. We started doing these in 1985 and for 16 years those events really paid off, to the point where 25% of all revenue was trackable to each specific event.
The Special Events provided us Four Benefits:
#1 Reinforced to the consumer who we were and what we had to offer.
#2 Got the wheels rolling even if the consumer wasn’t ready to purchase.
#3 Continued Presence at these events showed that we were not a fly by night company and each year had a compounding effect.
#4 Enabled us to connect with our Target Market.
Yes, #4 was the key – Our Target Market.
We were connecting with our target market and what better way than to be in front of this market year after year.
And this my friend, is what most small businesses should be working on with their marketing resources and very valuable time – Their target market.
So go find the channels (online and offline) that work best for your business or organization, and make every effort to attract and connect with people who want what you offer.
To your target marketing success,